A: Promising God, we remember your promise to Sarah and Abraham to make of them a great nation. We hear these words, "Kings of people shall come from her," and we think of our own children, our own nieces and nephews, our own grandchildren. We cherish who they are, and we dream of what they might become. Lead our children, our offspring, by your Spirit, and guide us to be the kinds of parents, adults, leaders, teachers they need in order to flourish and thrive in your world. God of Abraham and Sarah, you keep your promises.
A: Faith. Trust. Hope. You offer us many models of faithfulness, give us reason to trust, and are our only hope. Help us learn from the saints who have gone before us and now rest in you. Let faith be our center, trust be our glue, and hope be our guide. Open us, through this faith, hope, and trust, to engagement with those of other faiths--Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, other Christians. Give us a vision of how you see them. Envelop us in your dreams, Lord. God of Abraham and Sarah, you keep your promises.
A: We pray for families who long for children, for foster families, adoptive families, and expecting families. We pray for those, like Jesus, who remain single and build community, and give birth to new ministries and communities, in other ways than biological. We pray for those with disabilities, and we name before you now out loud those in need of healing (Linda, Albert, Bob, Fern, Debbie, Judy, Zach). As a community we take time now to voice our many prayers aloud to you [pause here for time for the congregation to pray out loud]. God of Abraham and Sarah, you keep your promises.
A: We continue to pray for our elected leaders and those campaigning for public office. We pray for the many needs of the world, for the nations of Syria, Iran, Israel, North Korean. Let each nation do the work necessary that leads to peace. We pray for those who lose their lives for the sake of your gospel. As we continue in this Lenten season, turn us to you in prayer, out to our neighbors as we give to the poor, and away from self-indulgence as we fast. God of Abraham and Sara, you keep your promises.
P: Into your hands we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, gifted with faith in you, and hopefully dreaming of your tomorrow. Amen.